Does beta carotene protect against insidious type 2 diabetes?

Additional intake of beta carotene helps prevent diabetes in people who are genetically predisposed to the disease.

Scientists from Stanford University have found that beta carotene and gamma-tocopherol /considered a synthetic form of vitamin E/ interact with a gene known as SLC304A, which influences the risk of diabetes.

The authors of the study, which was published in the journal “Human Genetics”, that type 2 diabetes affects about 15% of the world’s population and the number of patients continues to increase.

In people who carry the SLC304A gene, researchers found a strong statistically significant inverse relationship between blood levels of beta carotene and the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.< /p>

In other words, higher blood levels of beta carotene, which the body converts into vitamin A, lowers the risk of diabetes. This effect is mostly seen in people who carry both copies of the gene variant.

Furthermore, the fact that both beta carotene and gamma-tocopherol interact with the same gene variant that affects diabetes risk, albeit in opposite directions, suggests that the protein of the gene , known as SLC304A, may be crucial in the onset and progression of the disease.

Actually, this protein is relatively abundant in the insulin-synthesizing cells of the pancreas – the islets of Langerhans, where it helps transport zinc into these cells.

This, in turn, stimulates the release of insulin, whose normal secretion from the pancreas and efficient entry into the muscles, liver and adipose tissue prevents the dangerous accumulation of glucose in the blood, and in the long term is cause of type 2 diabetes.

It’s not just a correlation

The results of the same study showed that high levels of gamma-tocopherol increased the risk of the disease, which the scientists described as unexpected and disturbing.

However, the study authors point out that based on this study alone, they cannot confirm with certainty that the intake of vitamin E is detrimental to health.< /p>

Furthermore, they noted that blood levels of alpha-tocopherol, another form of vitamin E that is prevalent in most dietary supplements did not show an interaction to cause the expression of the gene variant that increased the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

In conclusion, the scientists point out that they do not fully understand how the expression of different genes and nutrients influence the progression of diabetes.

And although multiple genetic risk factors have been found to predispose to type 2 diabetes, none of them are considered to be independent.

But even if all of these established factors are taken into account the real incidence of diabetes will not be reached.

A new study is now being prepared, in which purified beta-carotene and gamma-tocopherol will be fed to laboratory mice.

This will determine for sure whether the substances themselves are critical in preventing or accelerating the onset of type 2 diabetes.

It is also possible that the research will shed light on exactly how these substances influence the formation or function of the protein, which is guided by the different gene variations.

However, most likely, a person will not harm himself if he includes carrots in regularly consumed foods.

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